News Release: Thursday, January 10th, 2019
News Release: Thursday, January 10th, 2019
45 customers gathered to consider the wines presented by Richard McKinney and Nick Demos of Tryon Distribution.
We talked wine, soil, biodynamic methods, Chile and Argentina, Bordeaux grapes, and herbaceous flavors!
We liked all of the 4 wines presented and thought they met the quality to price ratio challenge. But in the end, one was the most impressive to most of the group. While everyone has a different palate and preferences and every wine has a different best use, the fact that most people liked this one is a good indicator that most customers will like this wine. And in a small shop with limited space, that matters! And the winner is.......
Let's Talk Shipping
Many of you have asked us to ship to friends and family. And we have sadly had to inform you that the state of shipping affairs is a mess of constitutional, and we mean that literally, proportion.
This is a very brief synopsis of the issues involved from Wine Searcher:
You may be asking how then can the online big boys ship and you, MetroWines, cannot?
We did too. Part of the answer is that some common carriers have looked the other way for Big Boys but returned packages crossing some state lines to small retailers. We wondered why.
Many states, including North Carolina, do not allow retail shipments from out of state retailers. The common carrier says it is your, you the customer, fault. In other words, you the customer bears the criminal responsibility not to order online from an out of state shipper. You bear the burden of knowing this is a crime. You are the guilty party. Beleive it.
The exception, read loophole, to state regulations prohibiting out of state shipments is for wineries and what is called a blender. That is why you can buy from a California winery you visited on your trip to Napa. And it is also how the Big Boy .com-ers and National Wine Clubs manage to ship. They have somehow convinced the federal agency that has jurisdiction over these designaitons that they are in fact blenders or wineries. And this is the loophole through which common carrier as a defendant will crawl. They will argue that, hey, the feds said .com was a winery. Talk to them.
It's a good and probably a winning argument. So it is the definition of "winery" or "blender" that is at stake. In any effort to obtain some guidance and serve our customers, we wrote to US Representative Mark Meadows. The letter:
S. Gina Trippi
Member: District of Columbia Bar and The Florida Bar
4 Club Knoll Road, Asheville, North Carolina 28804
October 22, 2018 BY US Mail, FAX and Email this Date
Mark Meadows, United States Representative
1024 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20525
Dear Representative Meadows:
I write to you in your capacity as a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform which supervises Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and as you are my representative. My husband, John Kerr, and I own MetroWines at 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville, a North Carolina LLC.
TTB is charged with issuing a permit to “operate a wine premises” pursuant to 27 CFR. Being permitted as a “winery” allows an online wine retailer to ship across state lines in states where strictly retail shipping is illegal. Said another way, being permitted as a winery is a ticket to ending around state prohibitions that retailers, like MetroWines, must follow. The competitive advantage is enormous.
The problem is that, while TTB does require the submission of documentation, including a blueprint of the premises, to support that the premises is a “winery,” there is no definition of “winery” and no other guidelines to facilitate consistent and fair decisions.
To illustrate the issue, consider that in North Carolina, we have a license to sell wine retail and also to pour wine by the glass. But if more than 50% of our profits come from pouring, then we are a bar and must abide by those regulations.
TTB has no guidance on how many bottles of wine a “winery” must produce. Is ten enough? If the winery buys a few bottles at the grocery and blends with some dried up grapes on the “premises,” is that a winery? If a “winery” has wine made in California and shipped through the “premises” in another state, is that a “wine premises? And if it is found that a “winery” makes most of its profits by shipping wines from actual wineries, should the TTB “winery” permit be revoked? Does TTB track permitted “wineries?”
I have traded emails with TTB staff who merely recite the rather sparse CFR. And I have contacted John Manfreda, TTB Administrator, by certified letter advising him of all correspondence and requesting a response by October 19th. Having received no response, TTB either cannot or will not answer how decisions are made. Without guidelines, the issuance of a TTB permit is arbitrary.
I am inclined to file for an injunction to halt the issuance of permits by TTB to “operate a wine premises” and to freeze “winery” operations already permitted until TTB sets guidelines. This would be chaotic. We are starting with you first.
Please advise when this situation will be resolved.
S. Gina Trippi
Sadly, Representative Meadows did not answer our letter neither did he nor his office even acknowledge receiving the letter. So much for representing small business in North Carolina!
All that said, depending on how the Supreme Court rules, stand by for MetroWine-ery!
If they can do it. We want to do it. We want to be able to say yes to you when you ask us to ship your purchase to your family at the holidays, for your neice's wedding, for your friend's retirment. We will continue this fight for fairness and a level playing field.
Winemaker says: This wine has a rich, fruit-forward elegance.
A spicy fruit and berry core backed up by soft tannins makes it
a nice glass of wine for casual sipping among friends.
92 Points Wine Enthusiast, $19.99
Complexity and concentration mark this wine as a standout. It has a deep, dark color,
with aromas of black cherry, currant and mint. Layered flavors of ripe fruit and mild spice
are bolstered by a velvety texture of fine-grained tannins. The finish lingers nicely,
and the wine will surely improve in the cellar. Best after 2021.
Much Maligned Grapes
(You knew This Day Would Come!)
Director of The Asheville School of Wine
Makes The Case for Chardonnay, Merlot,
Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
Maybe You Don't Like These Grapes.
BUT, Maybe You Do!
Make Plans to Take the Challenge
$25. Tickets: https://
Chardonnay is First UP on February 5th.
Chris Curtis of Country Vintner joins Andy Hale for Class
bringing Chardonnay from around the World.
(No pressure but I love South African Chardonnay!)
BIG COLD? BIG RED.
Aged for 10 months in second used French and American oak, the wine is
a marriage of rich terra rossa soil, pure underground water and a long, cool ripening season
made in Australia’s tiny Coonawarra region, the birthplace of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon!
Complex with an inky hue, Criterion explores flavors of current, eucalyptus and black plum. $16.99
Are You Coming to Group?
We are Starting our Second year!
The Asheville Wine Focus Group
Wednesday, January 9th from 5:30 to 6:30
Hosted by Richard Mckinney and Nick Demos
of Tryon Distributing
Call (828) 575-9525
Black Eyed Peas?
First Choice: Broc Cellars 2015 Cabernet Franc
Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, California $34
Gritty to Gritty! Naturally made of 100% Franc. 11.9% alc.
WINEMAKER’S NOTES: Harvested at night on September 5th, the grapes were placed whole cluster
into 5 ton wooden vats for fermentation and foot tread lightly in the morning with a gentle pumpover at night.
Then gently pressed into a larger stainless steel tank overnight, and racked to older barriques to age for 8 months.
Sold out at the winery and most online sites.
A Slightly Smoother Choice: Field Recordings 2016 Cabernet Franc,
Paso Robles, CA $23
100% Franc. 60% of wine aged in French oak for 6 months. 14% alc.
WINEMAKER NOTES: A rustic punch of blueberries, black cherries and red currants with a touch of mint and rosemary.
A Highly Rated, Value Minded Choice: Fabre Montmayou,
Mendoza, Argentina $13.99
WINEMAKER NOTES: Intense red color. Elegant on the nose, with red and black fruit aromas and hints of mint.
Fresh and well balanced, with a long finish. 94 Points from Tim Atkin, Master of Wine "Best in Argentina"
BUT, wait....not so fast!
The pairing depends on the amount of HEAT you add to the dish.
Let's say that you use the recipe from Chef Mashama Bailey calling for chile de arbol and 10 peppercorns!
The Asheville School of Wine says low heat works with Cabernet Franc but medium to high heat calls for Zinfandel.
Might we suggest this one:
Fiddletown Cellars 2016 Old Vine Zinfandel, Amador County, CA, $22
WINEMAKER NOTES: Bursting with rich blackberries, dark cherries and hints of vanilla.
Ultra creamy texture and dark fruit flavors dominate from front to back.
But Wait! There's More......
What if you don't want Red?
We Got This! Do the Different!
*** Go CAVA ***
Brut Cava Rose, Spain $15.99
This sparkling gem is made from 100% Trepat, one of the officially sanctioned varietals for CAVA.
Because few know of this grape, the quality far exceeds the price.
The "earthiness" of this wine will pair perfectly with the little round devils!
A golden salmon color in glass, this assertive sparkler has aromas and a palate of peach and nectarine.
90% Syrah, 4% Grenache, 4% Mourvèdre, 2% Viognier 13 months in American and French Oak
Winemaker Says: The color is deep ruby with garnet highlights. Raspberry jam and citrus with soy
and earthy undertone aromas are complemented by a brambly, subtle meaty character.
A smooth mouthfeel glides into a long silky finish
with flavors of juicy blueberry, hints of tobacco and subtle gamey undertones.
The Pundit Syrah was brought from bud break to bottling under the careful supervision of Rhône superstars
Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie with Chateau Ste. Michelle winemaker Bob Bertheau,
and highlights the potential for Syrah’s ripe sweetness as opposed to its savory side.
If Syrah has scared you away before due to its occasional leanings to the black-olive side of the flavor spectrum,
you owe it to yourself to try this. Medium body featuring abundant black fruit and just a hint of spice.
70% Altesse/30% Mondeuse and Chardonnay. Planted on Jurassic limestone soils,
made by méthode champenoise.
Though the wine is not vintage-dated, it is always single-vintage (in this case 2015).
The high proportion of Altesse and the presence of Mondeuse is unusual in a Montagnieu sparkling.
Most are Chardonnay heavy. This is indicative of Peillot's emphasis on these two local varieties in his wines.
The vine age for all three varieties averages 30 years, with some plots of Altesse and Mondeuse up to 60 years old.
100% Jacquere from Savoie. Mirroring the famous clay and limestone that nurtures these grapes.
This wine is a rough, crumbly, unpolished dagger holstered in a smooth, creamy leather sheath.
Aromas of honeycrisp apple and stone fruits open for bracing acidity, a light/medium body and a sharp mineral core.
The Italian Cultural Forum in Asheville
** Kick Off Party **
Wednesday, January 16th
5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines
Pizza and Wine "on the house"
And a presentation by Mike Tiano of Haw River Wine Man
on Chianti: Then and Now!
Hosted by The Asheville School of Wine
Event is "On the House" but please register here:
And Follow "Ciao Asheville" on FB Here:
Italian Wine Classes!
Northern Italy: January 24th
Southern Italy: and 31st
from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines
Presented by Andy Hale
Director of The Asheville School of Wine
Sponsored by "Ciao Asheville!"
The Italian Cultural Forum in Asheville!
Follow us here: http:// https://www.facebook.com/
|Asheville Wine Focus Group
Wednesday, January 9th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines
Welcome Richard McKinney and Nick Demos
from Tryon Distributing
*** Holiday Tasting @MetroWines ***
Bring the Joy and a Really Great Bottle of Wine!
Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon
"on the taste" and "on the house"
Saturday, December 22nd
All Day Long from 10am to 7pm
Join us on December 31st from 5:30 to 6:30
South African Party Food from Chef Todd Ritter, Princess Anne Hotel
South African Wines Paired by The Asheville School of Wine
Fireworks from CapeTown!
Don't Miss Midnight. Get There First!
A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 14% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc,
Pendulum presents sweet black cherry and toasted oak aromatics introduce flavors
of Santa Rosa plum, clove and raspberry. 14 months aged in new and old oak.
Flawlessly balanced, a long finish chocolate cake and berry jam rounds out the palate.
This umami-evoking wine will pair well with nearly any food, but it also makes the perfect standalone.
The Paitin vineyards, in the southern hills of Alba have been farmed since the 1500s!
Ca’ Veja means "old house" in the local dialect.
The soil is rare with sandstones only present in these hills that slope to Barolo.
The wine presents a strong and passionate personality.
Wild strawberry, mint and rose petal give its distinctive high-toned aromatics.
Succulent, silky tannins give up-front appeal.
If you shop @MetroWines, you know Paitin.
Paitin "Serra Barbera" is, and has been for 5 years, a shop favorite.
And Paitin "Campolive" was our choice for "2017 Wine of the Year"
This bottle is no exception.
Dark ruby in color with a purplish rim in the glass. This medium bodied wine
is fruit forward on nose with black currants, black cherries, oak, earth, vanilla, licorice, spices, tobacco,
chocolate, and black pepper. Palate is dry presenting plums, black currants, coffee, oak, cloves, earth,
peppercorn, leather, tobacco leaf, licorice, spices and chocolate.
Glenelly is a South African Wine with a French Touch. The Estate purchased by owner
of the iconic Chateau Pichon. Aged in French Oak for 12 months, with flavors of coffee beans,
mint, blackcurrant, cedar, dried cherry, dark chocolate and a touch of cigar box,
this bottle drinks like Bordeaux!
(Personal Note: I LOVE this wine. Not quite French. Not quite California.
All the flavors of Bordeaux with a little more heft and softer tannins. All for a great price.)
The "I Feel Guilty" Value Minded Alternative:
Excelsior 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sout Africa, $9.99
Monopole White Rioja is from Cune!
Winemaker says: Made from the Viura grape variety, the 2017 Monopole shows
a pale yellow color with greenish reminiscences. The aromas are composed
of a set of typical fruits of the Rioja region, such as apple, pear, white currants
and spring flowers. In the mouth it is attractive, in a soft and fresh way,
with a long finish that culminates in a fruity aftertaste.
The "I Feel Guilty" Value Minded Alternative
Indaba Chenin Blanc 2017, South Africa $9.99
The Asheville Wine Focus Group
*** 2018 ReCap ***
Group has been working for a year helping us to decide what should be on our shelves!
Join us as the new year starts on January 9th from 5:30 to 6:30.
Richard McKinney and Nick Demos of Tryon Distributing will be our hosts!
Part of The Much Maligned Grapes Class Series!
News Release: Thursday, December 13th, 2018
“I don’t buy wine because of the label. “ But the research says some of us, actually many of us, do. Wineries want you to look. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And so it is for the wine label. Who can resist the lure of Kungfu Girl Riesling?
Labels were originally intended to provide legally required information. Wine Searcher, a service that posts information from online wine shops, says countries around the world have laws for both wines produced in country as well as imported wines. Labeling laws typically require name, region of origin, vintage, often the varietal or blend, volume and percentage of alcohol.
But fierce competition in the wine world has forced the label to become a marketing tool. “99 Bottles of Wine,” a new book by wine label designer David Schuemann, tells all in his book revealing the wine marketing strategy. The label, Schuemann says, is easier to remember than the taste of the wine.
Schuemann notes that at a wine tasting held at the Edinburgh Science Festival in Scotland showed that while people could not consistently differentiate wines, they were consistently drawn back to the label they knew. So, from a wine marketing perspective, wine consumers look for the label, the brand, just like with any other product. And, again, just like any other product, research shows that an eye catching label can encourage the consumer to buy a more expensive bottle.
Labels range from the traditional coat of arms style to animal portraits to high end design by artists whose works are seen in museums! Little did I know when I saw an exhibition by Mickalene Thomas at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC, that her work might be sitting on my dining room table in the form of a wine label!
Label designs also carry subtle messages and invoke what might be called wine label prejudice. People associate minimalist, uncluttered design with high end vintages, says Schuemann. Wine connoisseurs are attracted to labels with cream or white backgrounds, a touch of gold or metal. Labels with “critters” are out. The wine neophyte, Schuemann says, are attracted to labels that “pop” and that means color, design and sometimes, “critters!”
Label prejudice can influence taste as well. An experiment conducted by Cornell University Professor of Marketing Brian Wansink, proved the point. Professor Wansink filled all the bottles with the same $2 wine, labeling half as wine from California and the other half as wine from North Dakota. Those drinking the wine with the California label stayed longer, drank more and rated the wine higher!
But, in the end, the label really tells the story of the winery, the philosophy, the history, how the winery wants to be seen. There is no better example than the label on the Washington State Red Blend by highly regarded winemaker Eric Dunham. One night, Dunham heard a dog fight. He ran out to find and rescue a badly wounded puppy. The puppy lost his leg that night but, as Dunham said, the puppy found a home and Dunham a best friend. With a drawing of the puppy on the label, Dunham named a wine for his new friend, “Three Legged Dog.”
When it comes to wine, make your own decisions and have the courage of yor convictions!
News Release: Thursday, December 13th, 2018
About: January Wine Focus Group
Join us on Wednesday, January 9th for the Asheville Wine Focus Group from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. Our hosts will be Richard McKinney and Nick Demos from Tryon Distributing (https://tryondist.com/).
The event is "on the house" but you need to reserve a seat. Register by calling (828) 575-9525 or online: https://
Great Rose Tasting: December Event Pricing in RED!
Mazzolino, Lombardy, Italy $27 *** $23 ***
100% Pinot Nero, this wine is made in the Methode Traditionelle, aged for 18 months on the lees then manually riddled. The color is a light to medium orange with dried roses. The nose is intense red fruits, citrus, flowers and toasted bread. On the palate, you will find prickly bubbles - bursting! with dry red fruit including, tangy strawberry and yeast.
Underraga Pinot Noir Rose $10.99 *** $9.49 ***
Light pink with tiny and persistent bubbles. Fruity (cherry) and floral (roses), delicate aroma. Fresh and dry with a juicy sensation. Perfect as an aperitif, by itself, with desserts or Asian food. Now selling in more than 70 countries around the world, with more than 130 years, Viña Undurraga is one of Chile’s oldest wineries and a pioneer in the nation’s winemaking industry.
Juve Y Camps Rose Cava $16.99 *** $14.49 ***
This Cava is a bright red cherry color in the bass with a lovely effervescence. On the plate, Juve Y Camps is intense, fresh and exuberant with notes of cherry and strawberry wrapped in a hint of honey, toasted bread and flowers. Robert Parker gave this bottle 91 Points saying the non-vintage sparkling wine is: "displays a bright cherry red color with a showy nose of cherries, truffles and star berry jam with a fresh, pungent palate, with balanced acidity and flavors.
Sharffenberger Brut Rose, Mendicino County $28 *** $24 ***
A blend of 54% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir, the wine has a pale salmon hue with integrated aromas of fresh raspberry jam and wild strawberries on a cream covered pastry base. The flavors are layered, round, fresh, fruity and long. Made in the Methode Traditionelle, the grapes are sourced from Sharffenberger vineyards in Anderson Valley together with other quality vineyards in Mendocino County. This type of vineyard selection allows us to choose from the best vineyards in the area.
No "Loss Leader" to lure you in
and then download overpriced bottles on you!
Take Meomi for example.
Big Box Price: $18.98
MetroWines Price: $14.99
And Toward This Goal, Join us for:
*** "Confirmed Holiday Hits" ***
4 High Quality, Value Minded Wines
from Advintage Distribution
"on the taste" and "on the house"
Thursday, December 13th from 5 to 6:30
From Our Chef in Residence
in The MetroWines Food History Department!
Potatoes Conquer the World!
Green Bean Casserole Still a Holiday Favorite!
Chef Recommends Pairing the NEW with the Vintage
Wind Gap Trousseau Gris 2017 ( $23) with Both
"Bright, fresh, and clean, with supple yellow & white tree fruits, pronounced floral aromatics,
and exotic spices, this California Original is all about having fun and enjoying life with
a glass of wine in your hand. Smashable and delicious this 2017 will delight with almost
any type of cuisine you can throw at it, or drink it all by itself with a nice view and a friend or two."
Jen Sincero is a world-renowned author, success coach, and motivational speaker
who’s spent over a decade helping people transform their lives and their bank accounts.
See Malaprop’s website for ticket information.
Shop @MetroWines for your
"Badass Read it With Wine"
Might we suggest:
The Crusher $11.99
The Crusher Petite Sirah is a deep, inky color with bold aromas of boysenberry, blackberry, and fig jam.
The inviting aromas lead to a medium palate with a core of juicy fruit flavors, toasted hazelnut
and baking spice notes. The wine spends 10 months in a combination of French, American and Hungarian oak, giving the final blend a soft texture with fine, well-integrated tannins.
Thinking About Retiring to Spain?
Think About It Over
a Bottle of Vina Alberdi Rioja Reserva 2012
92 points, James Suckling (Aug 2018)
Cropped from an extremely dry year, the 2012 Viña Alberdi was saved by some rains in late September. The aging lasted two years, the first one in new American oak barrels and the second in used ones. It felt livelier than the 2011. This 2012 has some aromas of raw meat, with marked toast from the American oak (all the American oak barrels are built by their own coopers), with a good combination of fruit and spice, tradition and modernity. It's approachable and easy to drink, but a little more time in bottle should polish it even further. 500,000 bottles produced.
90+ points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Issue # 235 - Feb 2018)
$24 for this aged Tempranillo and, oh baby,
Tempranillo takes to aging but good!
Dark garnet core with cherry hued edges in the glass. Bold and brooding!
Rich, deep berry notes from black cherry, plum and ripe blackberry, with pops of peppery spice. Spruce and evergreen mingled with black liquorice and new leather.
Decant for 30 - 60! The wine will flesh out and open to a rounder body and palate. Plenty of structure and backbone is supported by tart notes of cranberry, choke cherry and briar patch. A wild and slightly rustic fruit layer covers the palate and leaves room for light pepper and wintery herbs, like bay leaf.
New Year's Eve!
"Midnight in CapeTown"
Because When it's 6pm in Asheville,
it's Already Midnight in CapeTown
December 31st from 5:30 to 6:30
South African Dishes
Prepared by Break Out Star Chef Todd Ritter
of The Princess Anne Hotel
Wines Paired by Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine
and onscreen Fireworks from CapeTown!!
$25 (plus tax) for ALL this!
Please note: Because we must prepare the feast and bring in staff for the event,
we cannot accommodate any refunds or event or store credit. Thank you for understanding.
Asheville Wine Focus Group
"The Biltmore Smack Down"
*** A BLIND TASTING ***
Wednesday December 12th from 5:30 to 6:30
Say What? What is "A Biltmore Smack Down"
A while back, Biltmore showed up @MetroWines and blind tasted us on their Chardonnay and Cabernet.
Biltmore pitted their wines against two very, very well known and good selling bottles of the same varietal
and close in price. Let's just say, we were impressed. But, to land on the shelf @Metrowines,
we told Biltmore that they must convince our customers.
That said, join us to taste test 4 Biltmore Wines against 4 wines from our shelves.
Yikes. And you think you are scared!
Reserve a Seat NOW! Call (828) 575-9525
The Case Club @MetroWines
Allows You to Travel the World in Wine
Without Flying in Anything!
Call (828) 575-9525
News Release: November 27th, 2018
What is "A Biltmore SmackDown"
SORRY: This Event is Full ! Posted Monday, January 14th.
Please check our Facebook Page for other Ciao Asheville Events!
News Release: November 25th
Join us as we launch "Ciao Asheville," an organization intended to serve as The Italian Cultural Forum in Asheville on Wednesday, January 16th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
At this first meeting, Gail Rampersaud, Event Coordinator for "Ciao Asheville," will explain upcoming programs and the benefits of joining with us.
STRADA will provide the pizza, Mike Tiano of Haw River WineMan will bring the Chianti and tell us about the history of the region! and Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine, will discuss the wine pairings.
Register at (828)575-9525 or online: https://
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.
And start learning Italian here: https://
AVL Today reports:
|Introducing Asheville’s new culinary festival|
|Get ready Asheville – a new culinary festival is coming to town. The Asheville Culinary Festival (an official name is still in the works) will be full of immersive culinary experiences as well as a place of diversity and community. (Not your average wine + food fest – which is mostly just wine).|
|Image via Pexels|
|Spearheaded by Chef Katie Button of Cúrate, Chai Pani ownerMeherwan Irani, French Broad Chocolate Lounge’s Jael Rattigan + a board of local culinary experts, the goal is to have guests experience food from an educational, historic + cultural perspective. Charleston Wine + Food Festival founder Angel Postell will be the event director and Asheville Event Co.’s Melissa Porter will be the on-the-ground manager.
Here’s what we know:
Learn about potential festival experiences (can you say chocolate flight night?), how to become a sponsor, get info about being involved, andsubmit your ideas here.⬇️